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Fewer bankruptcies Q1, but more employees lost jobs

There was a sharp decline in bankruptcies during Jan-March, but closures threw a growing number of people out of work.

The number of bankruptcies decreased the most in the retail trade sector. Photo from K-Supermarket Mustapekka in Helsinki, June 2020. Image: Tiina Jutila \ Yle

The number of bankruptcies filed in January to March this year was down by 12.4 percent from the same period of 2020, according to fresh figures from Statistics Finland.

However, the number of employees in companies filing for bankruptcy was over four percent higher than a year ago.

The number of bankruptcies fell in all sectors except agriculture, forestry and fishing, transport and storage. The sharpest decline in the number of bankruptcies was seen in the retail trade sector.

According to Statistics Finland, the number of bankruptcy filings has been exceptionally low since June of last year because of temporary legislation spurred by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bankruptcy filings were restricted by a temporary amendment to the law as of May 2020. That amendment was in force until the end of January this year.

A new interim law in force from the beginning of February until the end of September now prevents creditors from forcing debtors into bankruptcy because of short-term payment problems.

Fewer job vacancies

Statistics Finland also reported a slight fall in the number of open job vacancies at the beginning of the year.

Article continues after the photo.

In addition to the municipal sector, job vacancies fell most retail trade. The Jumbo shopping center in Vantaa. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

The office recorded fewer than 60,000 vacancies during the first quarter, compared to more than 63,000 a year earlier. The number of open jobs decreased especially in the municipal sector.

In addition to the municipal sector, job vacancies declined the most in trade, transport and storage, and the accommodation and food service industries.

In contrast, a rise in available jobs was seen in some sectors, especially in information and communication services, mainly computer programming.

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